As human beings evolved over the years our mouths became smaller. This means that there’s often no room for wisdom teeth – which are the far-back molars. These teeth once helped humans chew roots, leaves, and nuts, but today they are not necessary and can cause complications. Most people need to have their wisdom teeth extracted, typically when they’re in their late teens or early twenties.
At Meadows Dental Group, we perform wisdom teeth extractions in our office, without needing to refer you to an oral surgeon. Call 303-790-2323 to schedule an appointment to find out if you would benefit from wisdom teeth removal. We welcome patients from Lone Tree, Highlands Ranch, Centennial, and nearby areas of Colorado.
Reasons to Extract Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars located in the back of your mouth. These teeth are the last permanent teeth to appear, and they usually do so between the ages of 17 and 25. Wisdom teeth are no longer necessary for chewing, and some people don’t even develop them.
There are a number of reasons why we might recommend wisdom teeth removal, including:
- They have come in at the wrong angle: Wisdom teeth don’t always emerge or develop normally. They can be angled toward your second molar or the back of your mouth and may even develop sideways. This can lead to dental complications, including causing damage to your other teeth by pressing against them.
- They are impacted: When teeth enter your mouth and become visible, it is known as tooth eruption. Wisdom teeth that fail to fully erupt are referred to as impacted teeth. Impacted teeth do not come in normally and may be trapped within the jawbone or gums. You may experience pain if your teeth are impacted.
- Your mouth can’t accommodate them: Our mouths have become smaller over time, yet we still have an extra set of molars that are meant for a larger jaw. While some individual’s wisdom teeth emerge at the proper angle and have enough space, most people do not have adequate space in their mouth for wisdom teeth.
Do My Wisdom Teeth Require Removal?
The best way to determine if you would benefit from wisdom teeth removal is to schedule an examination with an experienced dentist. Our dentists can evaluate your oral health and perform an X-ray to determine your candidacy.
You may benefit from wisdom teeth removal if:
- They cause you pain
- They trap food that becomes difficult to remove through routine oral hygiene habits
- They are damaging a neighboring tooth
- They are damaging the surrounding bone
- They have partially erupted
- The teeth are affected by decay
- You develop a cyst around the tooth
- They cause complications with orthodontic treatments
Some people benefit from wisdom teeth extraction even if their teeth are not currently causing any problems. Preventative extraction can help prevent future complications. Our dentists can discuss this option with you during your appointment.
Can You Go Your Whole Life Without Getting Your Wisdom Teeth?
It is possible to never get your wisdom teeth. Some people are only born with a few wisdom teeth, and others are not born with any at all. Not having third molars is completely normal though it is a bit rare.
Keep in mind that only a dental X-ray can determine if you were born without wisdom teeth. Just because you cannot see them does not mean they are not there. They could be impacted below the surface of your gums. In that case, our dentists will want to remove or monitor them.
Is Anesthesia Used During Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Yes. Anesthesia is used during wisdom teeth removal for your comfort. Some types of anesthesia can even help you relax and feel less apprehensive about the dental procedure.
Our practice offers three types of dental sedation to meet your unique needs. We will recommend the best option based on the condition of your wisdom teeth and other factors.
How Long Do You Need off After Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Most patients take a day or two off from work and school after wisdom teeth removal. In some cases, healing enough to resume these and other normal activities will require a bit more time.
Our dentists will gladly provide personalized recommendations based on your occupation. In general, individuals with strenuous jobs that require heavy physical activity need more time off.
A few factors can influence the length of your recovery, including:
- The condition of your wisdom teeth
- The extent of your procedure
- How well you follow the preoperative and postoperative instructions
Activities such as smoking and drinking from a straw can increase your risk of complications. If complications do occur, such as an infection or dry socket, your recovery will likely take longer.
What Should I Avoid Eating After Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
Your diet is an important part of your recovery after wisdom tooth extraction. Some foods can support the healing process and soothe discomfort. Other foods can do the exact opposite.
These are a few foods that you should avoid during your recovery:
- Crunchy and hard food
- Chewy and sticky food
- Acidic and spicy food
- Grains and seeds
It is also important to avoid drinking anything through a straw. The suction could dislodge the blood clot at the site of the extraction. If that happens, you may experience a dry socket.
How Can I Prepare for Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Our dentists will give you detailed instructions to help you get ready for your procedure. You may be asked to:
- Fast before surgery
- Stop taking certain medications and supplements
- Fill prescriptions
- Wear loose and comfortable clothing
- Bring paperwork and your dental insurance card
- Arrange for someone to take you home after surgery
- Buy soft or liquid-based foods to eat during your recovery
Wisdom Teeth Extraction Procedure and Recovery
We perform wisdom teeth removal procedures from the comfort of our office. We offer three types of dental sedation for the procedure:
- IV sedation
- Oral sedation, which triggers a state of conscious sedation through oral medication
- Laughing gas, which is also known as nitrous oxide
Depending on whether your wisdom teeth have erupted or are still impacted, we’ll make a recommendation for which type of sedation would be right for you.
Our dentists will provide you with detailed instructions on how to care for your mouth after surgery. You may be given a prescription pain medication or advised to use an over-the-counter pain reliever. You should plan to go home and rest after your procedure, and you will likely be able to resume non-strenuous activities the following day. It is important to follow all of the directions that you are given, including food restrictions and cleaning instructions. You may need to schedule a follow-up appointment to remove stitches and monitor your healing process.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
Call 303-790-2323 today to schedule your wisdom tooth extraction consultation. Our dentists will happily answer your questions, discuss your options, and will never pressure you into receiving treatment. We proudly serve Lone Tree, Highlands Ranch, Centennial, and nearby areas of Colorado.